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Villette (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
How unusual first of all to have a heroine like Lucy Snowe, not of noble blood, not rich, not charming, not even good-looking as women (esp in the Victorian period) were expected to be. Like the other characters, she is flawed, contradictory and multi-faceted in a way one rarely sees in literature but continually witnesses in real life. Yet she is decidedly brilliant, original and imaginative like no other. Unconventional and delightfully subversive!
In many ways, this is a truly modern novel to this day. I've never read a novel that so honestly and unflinchingly captures the plight of a woman-artist making her own way in the world despite the obstacles thrown in her path.
The book's plot is quite interesting: You follow Lucy Snowe though her teens into her early 20s. She's not a typical heroine: she's a plain looking, average woman - sort of the anti-Austen stereotype. Lucy doesn't even have self esteem, but manages to flee England and moves to the European mainland.
Being my first Bronte novel, it's wildly delicious. The characters are flawed, there's tragedy and particularly wonderful moments. It does make you wonder how much of the book is autobiographical, and you feel a sense of loss because the Brontes were taken from us too soon before they could complete more works. You're sucked into the isolation of Lucy and in a way, that's more interesting than the plot.
Other and more talented reviewers can give you a better review of Villette (Signet Classics) than I can. But this book is a worthy download, and will bring you into a unique literary world and make you adore the creativity of the Brontes.
The first time I read this it seemed a bit difficult to get through, but I guarantee you will not be disappointed. It is very brooding, with nothing to hide the main character's insecurity that very much parallels that of Charlotte Bronte. There is a magic in this book that is not describable, and ranks at the top of my list of favorites!
Apart from the above dissapointment, this is a marvelous classic and beautifully written, a great and indepth analysis of the workings of the human heart and mind. I loved it better than Jane Eyre (except for the ending: Jane Eyre's is more complete and satisfying). You'll love the character of M.Paul - despite his eccentric behaviour, he's really a darling with a heart of gold, which Lucy Snowe soon discovers!
I recommend that you buy the Signet Classic version which has the English translation to the over 400 French phrases found in the book.
The story follows a woman, Lucy Snowe, from England to France, where she becomes a teacher at a French school for girls. Strange circumstances bring back old friends from the past, and new friends show her that she is, in fact, worthy of love.
Although the prose is beautiful, this novel is full of a sort of dark and ominous feeling that is so affecting that it is almost impossible to take your eyes off the page.
This book is really worth reading.